The NHS, a lesson in politics: part IV
Congratulations, you’ve joined the BMA, and now you’re about to vote on whether to strike.
However, there is much disquiet. If you feel betrayed, then read this post in full. You’ll notice that actually the BMA has to ballot you in that way. If you want to out source your decision making, skip to the “how should I vote”.
Remember kids, I write this because I love you.
Dissection of The Chair’s statement:
Johann the chair of the Junior Doctor’s committee has written this missive:
The ideal scenario is an overwhelming mandate. This is vital in order for the government to understand the strength of feeling. Should the government not withdraw the imposition and give us the assurances, then we will proceed in the first instance with emergency care only giving the government a short period of time to consider if they seriously wish to not enter meaningful negotiations. The ballot pack is clear. No option is now off the table and if the government does not offer an appropriate resolution to this, then they will be the one pushing junior doctors into the course of action that is left.
Now, I’ve noted a large amount of posts moaning about how “BMA R SHIT” “Fancy syntax says I no trust the BMA” etc, etc.
Now, dear reader let me step you through:
The ideal scenario is an overwhelming mandate.
This means the government cannot divide and conquer. Any chink in the BMA’s armour and you’ll be working 124 hour weeks again for minimum wage. if you all vote Yes-yes, it gives the BMA maximum flexibility. It also allows the BMA to slam 30k vote papers in Jeremy Hunt’s face, and loudly proclaim “Go fish”.
Remember, the goal of this is you make your working lives easier, not to go on strike.
Should the government not withdraw the imposition and give us the assurances, then we will proceed in the first instance with emergency care only giving the government a short period of time to consider
note the use of first instance. The implicit threat is that this is only just the start. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind you that industrial action is not just about striking. Its about causing pain to the employer. There are many ways this can be achieved. (I’ve discussed the locum route before.)
If you go straight to full strike, where are you going to go if the government doesn’t budge? What then? you’re bum fucked. Tactics are everything, this is a very large game of poker. (hur, also you can find the cliche about not going all in with your first hand)
This is why you need to learn about the various stages of industrial action. I’m not saying you shouldn’t be prepared to do a real strike. Far from it, I think you should strike, and strike hard. WHEN THE TIME IS RIGHT
a short period of time to consider if they seriously wish to not enter meaningful negotiations.
Anticipation is far more painful than the act it’s self. You don’t pull a plaster off half way, go for a break then come back to it do you? Surely you want to see the panic rise in the Right Honourable Hunt’s face as he desperately goes from news program to news program, reassuring the public that everything is all right?
Tell me you don’t want to see his little forehead sweat when he mutters “please but its actually very complicated….”
The ballot pack is clear. No option is now off the table
THIS MEANS THAT THE BMA IS PERFECTLY WILLING TO CALL A FULL ON STRIKE So calm the fuck down. Yes we all know that last work to rule was a monster flop. Mostly because you fuckers didn’t understand the concept, and secondly it only lasted just longer than the average length of an A&E visit.
if the government does not offer an appropriate resolution to this, then they will be the one pushing junior doctors into the course of action that is left.
This my dear doctor is key. You can’t just whip out the big gun and slap in people’s faces, expecting them to be on your side. You desperately need to point out that you were forced into this action. If it’s widely perceived that you doing this for shits and giggles because you thought the other options weren’t hardcore enough, then you’re utterly shagged.
Have some fucking patience.
Its the law stupid
I’ve seen moaning about how the BMA have let you down for allowing a less than full strike option to be put on the ballot. However the Law clearly states that:
When you’re balloted, your voting paper must ask whether you want to take part in either (or both):
o strike action
o action short of a strike
The union can only call on members to take action if a majority of members who voted were in favour of that particular action. If both questions are asked on the ballot paper and members vote yes to both, the union can decide what industrial action to take.
I really really cannot stress enough that you should really look this sort of thing up. If you were a unqualified teenager, I could sort of see your excuse. However you’ve all at some point looked for research material. FUCKING LOOK THIS SHIT UP, I know you’re capable. (I now understand what my mum felt like when I was a teenager…)
How should you vote?
Well I’m not going to tell you. If you’re looking to me to still your bleating conscience you asking the wrong person. I work tangentially in the finance industry, and therefore have no soul. I also work with computers, I’ve had my empathy clinically removed.
If I was in your situation I would vote for a double yes. This means that the BMA is fully free to do whatever needs to be done at any time. If you vote for just for a full on strike action, you’re pretty limited in what you can do. You leave your self open to a PR mauling.
What if I don’t agree
The whole point of a trade union is that it is democratic. If you have issues, you go to the your rep, organise a meeting and raise them there, where they will actually carry weight. Yadda Yadda Yadda, the BMA is what you make it, use the force Luke, etc, etc, etc.
In case you haven’t noticed, talking tough on Facebook is like pissing in the river; gives you a warm feeling to start with, but it fades real fast.